As of today, the Minnesota Timberwolves are using $105,518,541 to pay the players currently on the roster. With the exception to a few dead cap situations. This is $6,425,541 over the NBA salary cap max, but still under the luxury tax threshold by a little more than 13 million dollars. These numbers would suggest that we do not have a lot of operating room to improve the team other than acquiring rookies in the NBA Draft.
Here’s one possible solution to this problem.
Gorgui Dieng, who by all accounts has played poorly for the majority of the season, is receiving an average of $15,700,000 per year until the end of the 2020-21 season. The production we are getting in return for this massive figure is no where near where it should be. Something that could work for both sides, as Dieng has hinted he is upset by lack of playing time, is too move him this summer for other assets.
The issue with this idea is that we more than likely would have to give up a first round pick for a team to take his contract off of our hands. But, there are scenarios where that doesn’t have to happen.
If we were to trade to the Dallas Mavericks, we would most likely have to trade our first round pick to dump his contract. But in return, we could receive Dorian Finney-Smith who has shown to be capable from shooting behind the arc. This would free up our cap room by about 13 million dollars, along with addressing our need for wing players.
1st round pick (20th overall)
Dorian Finney Smith
13 Million in cap room
Another team that could be in the mix for Dieng could be the the Orlando Magic. In this scenario we would also get to keep our first rounder for this year. We would only be saving 3 million dollars in this situation but we would help our wing situation, along with retaining our first round pick.
Gorgui Dieng (4 years / 14m)
Cole Aldrich (2 years / 7m)
Evan Fournier (4 years / 17m)
Khem Birch (2 years / 800k)
It is not that I wish Dieng would get traded, but his contract is just to too big in relation to his production on the court. The Timberwolves cannot afford to wait four years to let his deal expire on it’s own. With the cap not rising like in years past, we are going to see many teams struggling to find any wiggle room to keep their most valuable players. The Timberwolves are feeling that effect and unless a move is made, they’ll feel that effect for the next four years.
photo credit NBA.com